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UK

22/08/2019

People will have to get out of their cars if the UK is to meet its climate change targets, MPs say, but motorcycles are still not on the government agenda.

The Science and Technology Select Committee says the government cannot achieve sufficient emissions cuts by swapping existing cars for cleaner versions.

The government said it would consider the committee's findings.

In its report, the committee said: “In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation.”

It echoes a report from an Oxford-based group of academics who warned that even electric cars produce pollution through their tyres and brakes.

MPs are demanding improvements in public transport, walking and cycling, which benefit health as well as the climate.

They also criticise the government’s recent policies on the costs of transport.

They point out that most of the increase in average new car emissions in 2017 was caused by consumers choosing more polluting models because financial incentives to buy cleaner cars are insufficient.

A government strategy should aim to reduce the overall number of vehicles required, the report says.

This would be achieved by:

    Promoting and improving public transport
    Reducing the cost of public transport relative to driving
    Encouraging vehicle usership in place of ownership (car sharing, car hire and taxis)
    And boosting walking and cycling.

Ministers have held down fuel duty increases in recent years following lobbying from motoring groups.

But the MPs say they should ensure that the annual increase in fuel duty is never lower than the average increase in rail or bus fares.